I was chatting with someone the other day and the idea of watershed moments came up. Specifically, we reflected on watershed moments in our own learning and careers. Watershed moments are those occasions where there the lightbulb came on or something profound was shared or understood. They happen in various contexts no doubt. As I thought about my own I was instantly curious about other people’s experiences.
A few years ago I shared what about believe were seminal moments in edtech history but this is a more personal look at important events that transform my thinking and practices. I thought I’d share my watershed moments in the following format. Professional Learning event or conference, speaker or presentation, book, tool, and person.
I go to a lot of conferences and can be pretty critical. It’s a challenge to try and make an event have the kind of impact organizations plan. I’ve been to a number of really good events but the one that stands out is Un’Plugd. It took place in the summer of 2011 and was a one of a kind event. 40 educators from across Canada gathered for a weekend in northern Ontario to spend time writing … Read the rest
Becoming a brand takes intention and thought. It is by definition a marketing approach. In our current era, this is not exclusively for products and organizations but individuals. Educators, specifically are often encouraged to “build their personal brand“. I’ve seen others, incorporate strategies that have led them to successfully creating a brand. Let me share a few things that may help you to build your personal brand.
The majority of your tweets should be links to other sites. A tweet without one has no value. Bonus if you auto-tweet them all day long. Make your brand 24/7.
Never post personal content. No one wants to hear about your naps or golf game or shopping excursions with your wife. The more you tweet about yourself as a human being, the more your brand loses its focus. People use twitter for information, not your silly natterings.
Blog like an expert. Your blog posts should be stand-alone artifacts of authority. Questioning your practice or showing ambivalence makes you look weak. Write as if you’re the smartest person in the room.
Never engage in conversation on twitter. When people question you or reach out to you, ignore them. It’s a time and energy suck. Spend your
If you don’t already know, I’m one of the Courski brothers. I have socks to prove it.
(I’m guessing the reason that Alec is huge and George is tiny in the image is because Alec likely paid for them and George never reimbursed him)
Alec and George have been a big part of my learning for several years. First Alec got me started teaching at the University and we’ve presented together many times virtually and in person. When Alec turned 40, I organized a little video with 75 of his friends to have some fun and celebrate his life.
Today a Canadian hero in education died suddenly from a massive heart attack. Joe Bower as a middle school teacher from Alberta. He was 37 years old.
I almost didn’t write this since somefolks had already written about Joe. But then I realized the more people know about Joe and his work, the richer his legacy. If you know Joe, followed him on twitter, read his blog or heard him speak, you likely already know what a smart, passionate thinker he was. My own interactions largely revolved around me introducing my pre-service teachers to his work as well as referencing him in any presentations I did around assessment. I use this slide to showcase those that have influenced my thinking around assessment. Some of these folks are world renowned “experts”. Joe was every bit as important as any of them. (Sadly Grant Wiggins passed away in 2015)
As eloquently and passionately as Joe shared, what was overwhelming evident to me is how much he cared for children. He was willing to speak the truth, even when it was harsh and unpopular with many. Not to be provocative but because he truly … Read the rest
This completes my 7th year of taking a photo a day. Inspired originally by D’arcy Norman, who is 2 years ahead of me, It remains as just something I do. Like Alan Levine, I do occasionally miss a day, but not more than a handful a year.
In addition, I like to create a compilation of my year via video. Here are my past efforts:
I wasn’t sure I was going to make one for this year but in a surprising twist, one of daughters said, “When are we going to see the year in photos?” Each year I’ve made them watch it they usually groan and complain, make snarky comments about too many golf and conference photos but also have many memories sparked about their own year.
I tried to get this under 20 minutes but couldn’t quite as I know some folks attention spans are minuscule. I didn’t include every photo but most every. So if you have 20 minutes, enjoy. If not, move it along but many of you are in it. Leave a note if you are.
20 years ago, we would have a New Year’s Eve party and send our kids to their bedrooms to sleep and be quiet while the adults partied. This year, my kids had parties and asked us to go to our bedrooms and be quiet. Circle of life? Not sure, but it did give me time to make this.
This is my 4th year doing this. Starting in 2012 continuing in 2013 and 2014, it’s something I can put together in an evening. It’s equal parts reflection and creativity. Maybe that’s what data should be. I don’t know. Anyway, without further ado.
What are the #deanies? Simple. They are a prestigious award designed to recognize the very best in education. Or maybe not.
As with much of my goofiness on twitter, this started on an impulse. I’m not 100% sure what triggered it but I think I was reading my stream and someone posting about an award they won. There is lots of controversy out there about the need and purpose of awards. Frankly, I’m not that invested in the conversation. However, I think, for the most part, they don’t mean a lot other than someone thinks you deserve some recognition, which is a good thing. But the reality is, most awards are given by small groups of people with little or no authority. Again, that’s not a big deal but then I wondered, what’s stopping me from giving out awards? And the first #deanie was born.